Yingluck Shinawatra became politically turbulent Thailand’s first female prime minister on today after parliament endorsed her crushing election victory.
Political novice Yingluck, the sister of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, gained support from 296 members of the lower house out of a potential 500 — reflecting the majority enjoyed by her party and its allies.
Yingluck’s Puea Thai party and its partners command a three-fifths parliamentary majority after a resounding victory in the July 3 election over the pro-establishment Democrats.
The country’s 28th prime minister can expect royal endorsement within days to formalize her position.
She will face the immediate challenge of bringing stability to the kingdom, after five years of political turmoil since her brother Thaksin Shinawatra was thrown out of office in a 2006 army coup backed by Thailand’s elites.
Analysts believe a key test for Yingluck will simply be whether she can hang on to power in a country where the removal of leaders is commonplace.
Thailand has seen 18 actual or attempted military coups since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932 and only one prime minister in that time has served a full four-year term — Thaksin.
Yingluck’s vote-grabbing promises, such as a minimum wage hike and higher rice prices for farmers, have also come under scrutiny, with the Bank of Thailand warning they could stoke inflation.